María Cordón: ‘We help people to live fully at every stage of life” junio 4, 2019 After a few years away, you’ve come back to the world of health with Blue Healthcare, what’s new about this new health proposal? Blue Healthcare is the result of in-depth reflection after many years of dedication and experience managing a group like Quirón, in addition to all the examples of good practice from different parts of the world which I’ve had the opportunity to experience first hand in recent years. It represents the next level of health care developed from a global healthcare model that includes both medical factors and lifestyle and environmental elements. It incorporates everything taught to us by nature that we so often ignore, the knowledge and experience of a skilled healthcare team, alongside scientific innovation and the latest technology. What is the purpose of this new method? With the Blue Method we seek to help people live fully at every stage of life. We want to go beyond treating the symptom to find the reason or reasons behind the health problem, analyse what can be done to prevent or delay it, and offer personalised plans that allow us to achieve the best possible version of ourselves, physically, mentally and emotionally. What makes Blue Healthcare stand out is also its use of new new advances… For us, it is crucial to make use of the advances that are taking prevention and personalisation of health to a new level. For example, the study of genetics and epigenetics is a fundamental part of our initial assessment, which, through complex analytics with more than 200 parameters, gives us valuable information about each person. However, this information is only useful when you have a team of leading experts, like the one I have been lucky enough to gather from different countries. They are able to study the information and carry out an in-depth x-ray of each person’s health, anticipating diseases which may occur in around 10 years’ time, planning each step in order to avoid, or, if this isn’t possible, delay their onset. With this information, the doctor and patient analyse every detail of this exhaustive work and look at the next steps to take, with personalised options to access specific objectives related our health and well-being. Which other aspects stand out? Another aspect is related to time, which seems a very basic factor, but unfortunately it’s not. It is impossible for the doctor to assess their patient if they only have ten minutes for the appointment. Our medical consultations are not standard, and neither are the extensive questionnaires, basic tests and analytical tests we carry out. As I have already explained, we look beyond the standard parameters for other factors that can have a significant impact on patient health but which are not normally thought of, such as the levels of mercury or other contaminants found in food or the environment. All this requires care that can be extended at each visit and does not end when the patient leaves the consultation, as this personalised relationship doesn’t have a time schedule. I would also like to emphasise that the commitment we have made to patient care, with its protection from harmful substances,goes further than care and affects the whole of our service: Blue Healthcare is going to be the first toxic-free centre in Spain. What does Blue Healthcare being the first toxic-free centre in Spain mean? It means that in the building, furnishing, cleaning and daily running of these centres, all possible measures have been taken to have a positive influence on the health of the patients and staff. There is a close relationship between toxins dispersed in the environment and the possible development of disease,so we have designed our centres and healthcare model to eliminate certain substances that can affect the development of diseases, such as allergies, asthma, food intolerances, central sensitization (fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, chemical sensitivity, electromagnetic hypersensitivity etc.), Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hyperactivity etc., as well as other illnesses directly or indirectly linked to these environmental factors, such as some types of cancer and autoimmune diseases. These toxic substances are part of our hygiene and clothing (in deodorants or perfumes), our household cleaning (in stain removers or soaps), our diet (in pesticides or flavourings), our furniture and the materials used for building construction (in varnishes or paints) and have a cumulative effect which is potentially dangerous to our health. What type of patients is Blue Healthcare for? Anyone with any health problem? We have created a model that conceives of healthcare in an inclusive way, so it’s both for those who want to improve their health status, and for those who want to achieve specific improvement objectives, such as people affected by different behavioural disorders. To do this, we have initially created two complementary Blue services. A prevention and longevity multidisciplinary unit aimed at people who want to feel healthier and full of life,based on comprehensive and innovative diagnostic methods and unique treatments in Spain, carried out by nationally and internationally renowned medical experts. And a second healthcare unit which offers comprehensive, humanistic and excellent care aimed at people who need to find a balance in their eating behaviour, difficulties and disorders relating to personality and learning, including attachment difficulties in the adoption process. Do you think increasing our longevity is really in our hands? Definitely. As an example of this we can look at the work of Elizabeth Blackburn, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009, who researched the link between longevity, diseases and telomeres, which protect chromosomes and whose length is related to ageing. Various studies have shown a connection between short telomeres and a greater probability of suffering from one of the chronic diseases related to ageing, and vice versa. We know that the speed at which telomeres degrade varies greatly from person to person, and that, although genes play an important role, external factors and lifestyle contribute the most. That is, our lifestyle and environment are fundamental in shortening or lengthening the telomeres and, therefore, our longevity. Is this the beginning of a group? What future plans do you have for these clinics? It is the beginning of a new project that will be part of a network of hospital centres and campuses that we will be opening in different cities in Spain,which also has international outreach,and that has taken its initial steps in the first centres that we opened in June 2019 in Madrid. Finally, how did you come up with the name Blue Healthcare? We found it interesting that some years ago scientists and demographers identified the places in the world where people live the longest. They highlighted, among the reasons behind this longevity, specific local characteristics and practices of the populations, focusing on how the environment and way of life influence health in the areas they called Blue Zones.